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It would indeed be nice to find a face-saving way out for everyone
concerned. One option not yet discussed is for us to decide "Gee, maybe
having two people from MIT was not a good idea, and Bawden wasn't all
that enthusiastic anyway, so let's replace Bawden with Foderaro."
Another possibility (a variation of the "newspeek" [sic] method) would
be to announce "Oops, we made a mistake in the last announcement;
through an EMACS slip we accidentally deleted the line with Foderaro's
name on it"; but that would be rather transparent to everyone else. I
point these out only for the sake of completeness.
I am not enthusiastic about putting Foderaro on the committee for the
following reason: if he were not associated with Franz, Inc. there would
be little reason to put him on the committee. He has no academic track
record (such as significant published papers). He made a few
contributions to the Common Lisp effort, but they were not substantial.
I will keep my opinions about his design ability (as opposed to
implementation ability), as evidenced by Franz Lisp, to myself. Look at
it this way: if Foderaro last week had started to work for DEC or TI or
HP or Stanford or whatever, but still on a Common Lisp effort, there
would be little case for including him on the technical committee. (The
same remarks apply to Fateman, with the qualification that he does have
an outstanding academic track record in areas other than Lisp design.)
Foderaro is essentially a junior person in the Lisp world; any argument
for including him that does not involve his connection with Franz, Inc.
would also argue for the inclusion of, say, various PSL implementors
from Utah (or, for that matter, Lispers at DEC, TI, or even DG). I'm
not trying to tear anyone down or build anyone up, but people are what
they are, and this is my best assessment of the technical abilities and
records of the people involved. Each of the existing committee members
has the property that he would deserve to be on the committee no matter
what institution he worked for. This, I submit, is really what we mean
I would be willing to make a phone call to Fateman or Kunze and make
this point (gently and politely, but firmly).
I think that Scott is right that we should avoid using company
identifications in the future. Maybe it was a mistake to include them
in the announcement, but then again not, because it was important to
show that (except for MIT) no two came from the same place, and there
was some balance of representation.
Scott's suggestion that the fact of technical committee membership not
be used for advertising purposes may be politic at this point. If we so
agree, I suggest that we not announce it blaringly to the world, but
perhaps pass the word quietly to Kunze.
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1986 10:36 EST
From: "Scott E. Fahlman" <Fahlman@C.CS.CMU.EDU>
Second, we should take a poll, on the Clisp mailing list, of all the
companies that are "participating" (or that have people participating)
in the Common Lisp design discussions. The prestense for this could be
to gather a list of contact people and their addresses for formal X3J13
announcements, or whatever. The real reason for doing this is that when
the poll has been completed, we send out a long list that says "People
from the following companies are currently participating in the Common
Lisp design process..." and then they have their name on the official
list and a bullet for their brochures if that's what they are really
after. But it doesn't create a new class of people who think that they
get to vote on things.
This is a fine idea, but we don't have to regard it along ourselves as a
nefarious pretense. Both purposes are valid. Let us indeed gather a
list of contacts as such, and then make the announcement of
participation as Scott suggests. A third purpose might be to GC the
COMMON-LISP mailing list, if RPG cares to do so.
Finally, we might consider indicating to Fateman that the technical
committee we have chosen is, after all, only an interim committee until
X3J13 cranks up, and there is in some sense nothing that this technical
committee can do that cannot be undone once X3J13 forms. Even if we
don't say it to Fateman, we should be aware of it ourselves. X3J13
could collectively choose to throw the technical committee members out
on their ears when the time comes, so it behooves us to do a good job.
- From: "Scott E. Fahlman" <Fahlman@C.CS.CMU.EDU>